1-DAY TOUR IN NAGANO: SNOW MONKEYS, ZENKO-JI TEMPLE & SAKE
- Visit the world-famous snow monkeys and learn all about what makes them so unique
- Lunch at a nearby restaurant and enjoy Nagano’s renowned food culture
- Visit Zenko-ji, one of Japan’s oldest and most important Buddhist temples
- Indulge in sake with a tasting and learning experience all led by your guide (non-alcoholic options also available)
*Guests booking tours for dates between December 1st 2018 and March 31st 2019 have a choice of 3 different pickup points in Nagano City. If that applies to you, please refer here for further information and how to nominate your preferred pickup point.
Running throughout the year, this tour takes in some of Nagano’s most famous highlights in an enjoyable day of discovery and fun. Your English-speaking guide will meet you at JR Nagano Station at 09:35 (the guide will be waiting from 09:20 onward) to transport you to the Snow Monkey Park where you will spend time with the world-famous monkeys. Your guide will take you along the forest trail leading to the park and into Jigokudani or “Hell’s Valley” – home of the snow monkeys. As the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs, your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them in close proximity.
Your visit to the snow monkeys is followed by lunch at a nearby restaurant, where your guide will explain your options and is always happy to discuss Nagano’s renowned food culture.
After lunch, the tour heads to Zenko-ji Temple, one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Japan. Registered as National Treasure, it is a place of true historic importance and with all the legends and myths of a near 1400-year old complex! You will be guided around the temple before (time permitting) your guide will give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding precinct of smaller temples, shops, and restaurants by yourself.
You then met up with your guide and the tour concludes with sake tasting nearby the temple. Nagano is synonymous with sake and no visit to this region is complete without delving into Japan’s most famous beverage. Mastering sake takes a life time of dedication. Dip you toes into this seductive world as your guide explains the process, terminology, and appreciation of Nagano’s renowned and award-winning sake.
Warmed by the tasting, your guide will then accompany you back to JR Nagano Station where the tour concludes at approximately 17:30.
*Guests booking tours for dates between December 1st 2018 and March 31st 2019 have a choice of 3 different pickup points in Nagano City. Please refer here for further information and how to nominate your preferred pickup point.
|09:35||Meet up with the guide at Nagano Station. The meeting point is across from the Shinkansen exit/entrance under the Information Board. Our guide will be there by 9:20.|
|10:45||Arrive at the Snow Monkey Park area. Prepare and walk along the forest trail (25-30 minutes) into the park.|
|11:30||Arrival at the Snow Monkey Park. Enjoy watching the wild macaques bathing in the onsen and going about their lives.|
|12:15||Depart the park and get back on the forest trail to your lunch restaurant.|
|13:00||Have lunch at a restaurant nearby the Snow Monkey Park.|
|13:45||Leave the lunch restaurant and head to Zenko-ji Temple.|
|15:00||Arrival at Zenko-ji Temple and explore the precinct with your guide followed by (time permitting) 25-30 minutes of free time.|
|16:30||Enjoy sake tasting - Japan's most famous beverage - led by your guide, nearby the temple.|
|17:00||End sake tasting and head back toward the station.|
|17:30||Tour concludes at JR Nagano Station.|
- Transportation fee from Nagano to the Snow Monkey Park and between activities/attractions
- Snow Monkey Park entrance fee
- Lunch (vegetarian options are available, please let us know beforehand)
- Sake tasting
- English-speaking guide
- Bullet train tickets
- Optional entrance fee to the inner sanctuary of Zenko-ji Temple
- Please wear suitable shoes for the walking trail.
- During the winter it is common to see the Snow Monkeys enjoying the hot spring bath, however from spring up to autumn there will be times where the monkeys play or eat in the water, however please note that the monkeys are wild animals and there is no guarantee that there will be monkeys in the bath.
- There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park. In such case we will provide an alternative activity.
- Infants (0-5) is free of charge. A infant lunch is not included and the order will be made directly to the restaurant according to your needs.
- The tour application deadline is 1 day before the tour date at 17:00.
- Confirmation email of your reservation will be sent to you within 48 hours after booking.
MEETING PLACEGoogle Map
JR Nagano Station Information Board
Kurita, Nagano-shi, Nagano, 380-0921, Japan
What time of the bullet train should I ride to arrive in Nagano on time? What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour?
The start and finish of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.
Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station:
Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) *
Tokyo: 07:24 – Nagano: 09:14 – Asama
Tokyo: 07:52 – Nagano: 09:30 – Hakutaka
* You can still take 07:52 – 09:30 train since JR Nagano Station isn’t big at all and there is only one Shinkansen ticket exit. The tour meet-up is just after the Shinkansen ticket exit so please come straight up to there.
Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:
Nagano: 17:55 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)
Nagano: 18:22 – Tokyo: 20:00 – Hakutaka
What is the payment procedure after I submit a booking request?
Once your booking request is confirmed on our end, we will send you an electric invoice to the email address you submit in the reservation form. Once you have received the email, please click on the inserted link and complete payment either via credit card or Paypal.
I am staying in Yudanaka/Shibu/Kanbayashi, can I join the tour?
For guests staying in Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen or Kanbayashi Onsen, it is possible to join the tour in those areas rather than traveling to JR Nagano Station. Guests staying in Yudanaka and Shibu can meet the tour at Yudanaka Station while guests staying in Kanbayashi Onsen can meet the tour at Enza Cafe in Kanbayashi. This will change the tour start time. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to arrange one of these meeting points.
Everyday - All Year Round
9:35 - 17:30
JR Nagano Station Information Board